June 2015 | Irina Koteva

There was time, not so long ago, when ping pong tables lived in dusty corners of church halls and youth club basements. But all that has changed. You’ll now find tables in the most public of locations, from train stations to housing estates, museums to markets, pubs to public squares. And it’s all because of Ping!

Ping! is the street table tennis project funded by Sport England that has changed the face of ping pong. What began as a tentative flirtation with the game has turned into a full-on love affair that has changed the landscape of ping pong across England.

It’s difficult to believe that when Ping! launched in London 5 years ago there was just one outdoor table (in London Fields). Since then, over 800 public ping-pong tables have been installed as part of the Ping! project and the public ping pong bug appears to be unstoppable. Councils and schools across the country are investing in tables for parks and playgrounds, ping pong themed restaurants are flavour of the month, club nights mix tables with turntables - and it seems every hipster carries a bespoke bat.

This summer Ping takes table tennis to even more eye-catching and unexpected locations. From the cloisters of Cambridge to the car factories of Cowley, Brighton beach to Bristol Prison, Ping! tables are popping up everywhere. A record 13 regions are taking part in Ping! 2015: Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cambridge, Cornwall, Kettering, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Middlesbrough, Northampton, Oxford and Sheffield.

To join the fun and play on one of the ping pong tables at the ORNC pick up your bats and ball from The Old Brewery bar.

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